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...like the ones we had when I was growing up. My parents were involved in what I was learning in school, where I was going after school, what I did in the neighborhood and believed everything adults would say that I did because they had no reason to lie. My neighbors would spank my butt and when my uncle got home (he was the disciplinarian), he would do it again. We never felt we were abused in any way because we knew we were loved. And with love comes respect. We respected our parents. I fear respect is lost today.

It's hard to do anything in today's society because government has too much input in family lives. A child can call 911 and have a parent arrested for child abuse whether the parent did it or not. The authorities take the child's word. How wrong is that. Then, in some cases, it would very well be right. But parents are supposed to take care of their families, not the police.

Both parents have to work much harder with longer hours today to afford their normal living expenses. So kids rely on TV and their peers to keep themselves busy. TV has been a babysitter for years. Peers have been negative and positive influences on each other but parents don't have the time to investigate their children's peers for the better or the worse. There's just no time. And parents have other priorities now that forces them into giving more freedom to their children -- freedom which they do not need. Children should be more controlled, have boundaries, feel much loved to bind their security in themselves, and have interest that points them in the right direction in life. Most today have to fend for themselves and that is bad.

Times have so changed so much that parents are afraid of getting into trouble, teachers are afraid of their students, students are afraid of each other, siblings are afraid of older siblings, wives are afraid of husbands, and average citizens are afraid of authority. It's a vicious circle of everyone being afraid to take any action whatsoever. What can we do? If we don't get government out of our personal lives, we're not going to be able to do very much of anything because of fear. The whole world is in fear. I see no end to the fear. And with terrorists lurking in our backyards, the fear will only get worse.

If all the people can get together and get our government back to doing government business for the people instead of against the people, and if we can get rid of TV and make reading a priority in our homes once again, family dinners with our kids to give them the opportunity to express themselves so we can learn where their heads are, then and only then can I see a return to reality. TV will never get us back to square one. Because people lose sleep every night trying to figure out how to make more money on the boob tube so as long as money is man's best friend, there's no limits on what man will do to get it!

In other words, I don't have a clue!

posted by b2008 on January 1, 2008 at 9:08 AM | link to this | reply

Nautikos - I'm in full agreement other than when you say the following:

"Yet, I am afraid a lot of people do, but they don't want what has been made contemptuous in their eyes..."

You've lost me here in what "what" might be.

posted by gomedome on December 12, 2007 at 7:39 AM | link to this | reply

FineYoungSinger - I have two children, both girls that are young adults now

When video games first became popular we owned the first Nintendo release. Sitting and playing one of the games with my eldest daughter, which were incredibly tame by today's standards, it left me with a feeling of complete distaste. We were competing with handheld devices to club each other's figure to death. From that point on, video games were dissuaded in our house, not banned or anything so dramatic as that but no new games arrived as Christmas presents or were brought into the house. The Nintendo game eventually collected dust and was discarded a few years later.

Where video games are but one of many contributing factors, they are unnecessary, there are countless other ways for children to constructively amuse themselves. We instead encouraged artistic efforts, easels and paint sets were more common Christmas gifts. My wife also got them into producing their own clothing, the list of "other things" is rather extensive. The main issue is one of becoming active and dedicated participants in the development of our children.

And I couldn't agree more with the notion of having it all is a myth.  

posted by gomedome on December 12, 2007 at 6:49 AM | link to this | reply

Gome

Back in 1893, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim wrote a book, The Division of Labor in Society, in which he coined the term anomie, which refers to an absence and/or severe confusion of values in a society. We find ourselves at a time of severe anomie. In a multi-valued and multi-cultural society values clash inevitably.

Last week, in Mississauga, a Muslim father killed his teen-aged daughter because she wanted to be a 'Western' girl. But even when things are not that obviously in conflict, they clash. We are seeing the children of the children of the Spock generation, who never learned that Spock repudiated himself in the end. And if they had, they wouldn't know what that meant. These children clash with the remnants of values of education and deferred gratification still precariously clinging to parts of our educational system.

But the over-arching nomos is ruptured anyway, and people like you and I are both symptom and cause. One of my favorite quotes is Goethe's "If you have philosophy, you also have religion; if you have no philosophy, you had better have religion!" You and I, atheist and agnostic, do not need religion, as we have demonstrated abundantly. Yet, I am afraid a lot of people do, but they don't want what has been made contemptuous in their eyes...

My current series is, among other things, an attempt to deal with those issues...

Durkhein's book is sitting somewhere on one of my shelves; I don't need to read it since I am well familiar with it, but I may well dig it out and do a post or two on it...

posted by Nautikos on December 12, 2007 at 5:38 AM | link to this | reply

These are all very difficult issues...

The video games in particular jumped out at me.  I am of the opinion that these are a new addiction.   I've personally witnessed people losing themselves for days at a time to video games.  There are people that claim they are "good" and are marketed as being learning tools; much like cigarettes were marketed once upon a time as tools of "health and vitality".

That being said, regarding child rearing:  I have no children, only 2 stepsons. I do know that my husband, a single parent, raised them into extraordinary, productive adults that are making solid lives for themselves.  I can tell you what he did--he took them to work with him whenever he could; he stayed close to his family; he sacrificed nights out on the town to be with his children; the TV was rarely on; he bought them books, encouraged them to read, and read the same books to discuss them with his kids; he lived within his means; he denied them material pleasures and encouraged them to work; he punished them when they misbehaved; he played with them; he listened to them; he got involved in their schools; he made it a point to know all their friends; he was never their "buddy"--he was very clear on this--they weren't his "buddies" until they were adults, and it was by their choice, not his.  They didn't always like him, but to him that wasn't as important as their respecting his authority and doing as they were told by him.  He made a million mistakes, but hey, that's life.  You deal with it and move on.  He didn't view his children as goals or posessions; he viewed them as a serious responsibility, and made uncountable sacrifices in his life.  My husband was never a wealthy man---quite the opposite.  He worked hard and sacrificed things he wanted to do and accomplish for the betterment of those kids.

The great myth is that you can have it all.

posted by FineYoungSinger on December 12, 2007 at 1:35 AM | link to this | reply

shelly. - with all of the other scary stuff going on in this world, things
such as this elevate our collective anxiety levels.

posted by gomedome on December 11, 2007 at 7:42 PM | link to this | reply

There was a shooting here at one of the malls this weekend
fortunately, no one was killed.  It's scary when it's so close to home.

posted by shelly_b on December 11, 2007 at 5:50 PM | link to this | reply

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